Baltic Sea Mass Variations from GRACE: Comparison with In Situ and Modelled Sea Level Heights

J. Virtanen*, J. Mäkinen, M. Bilker-Koivula, Heikki Virtanen, M. Nordman, Antti Kangas, M. Johansson, C. K. Shum, H. Lee, L. Wang, M. Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The monthly variation in the water mass of the semi-enclosed Baltic Sea is about 60 Gt RMS over an area of 390,000km2. The Baltic has a dense network of tide gauges (TGs), and several high-resolution regional hydrodynamic models, making it one of the best-monitored seas for mass variations of this size in the world. We investigate the performance of different GRACE gravity field solutions to recover this oceanic mass variation using in situ measurements of sea-level heights. For GRACE, we use both the standard monthly solutions as well as regional solutions to estimate the total water storage in the Baltic Sea. For the "ground truth", we use sea-level measurements in the network of tide gauges around the Baltic Sea. For comparison, we have access to data from two hydrodynamic models. The water mass estimated from the constructed sea surfaces is then compared with different GRACE estimates. At present, we ignore the steric anomalies, as they are small in the Baltic Sea. We also discuss the "leakage" between land hydrology and the Baltic Sea in the GRACE estimates of water storage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGravity, Geoid and Earth Observation - IAG Commission 2
Subtitle of host publicationGravity Field
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIAG International Symposium on "Gravity, Geoid and Earth Observation" - Chania, Greece
Duration: 23 Jun 200827 Jun 2008

Publication series

NameInternational Association of Geodesy Symposia
ISSN (Print)0939-9585


ConferenceIAG International Symposium on "Gravity, Geoid and Earth Observation"


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